End of story. End of Spooktober.
He was treated to the scones. A sudden emotion welled up inside him. Before he knew it, he was hugging the axe warrior. "Hey, hey, wipe your hands before any of that!" the axe warrior was somewhat startled. "Well, I guess it is fine if you really can't wait." said she and she hugged back. The road of hardship led on... Yet it was lit here and there by moments of scone.
Someone took his hand and dragged him back to the realm of humans. It was the axe warrior. "We are making scones. Come." He followed her to the community kitchen. After watching what others were doing for some time, he applied himself to flour as well. Thus in the grand scheme of the cosmos, in a world of tension and mistrust between the humans and mof, he was making scones.
He thought back at the tumultuous meeting, the twisty little passages of the sealed crypt, the dark night spent carting bones, his wandering in the eerie woods, the glowing mushrooms... and then his memory was shrouded in mist. He raised his arm but he was not sure if he did it or a mof did it. Do mof have elaborate cemeteries decorated with the most beautiful bones? Is that where he truly belongs?
Days flew by without a definitive answer being reached. The moon gradually got fuller. Study and work occupied most of his time as village life went on uneventfully. It turned out that the axe warrior did not spend most of her time wielding an axe. She was a herbalist. Yet first impression clung. Walking about dressed in the costume of the village, he felt that he was becoming one of them! He sensed that he got his hope up and quickly subdued it.
He woke up on a mattress. He got off it and stepped outside the bedroom. The axe warrior was outside, busy drafting something. When she saw him, she put aside her work. Then she gave him some hair bands to bind his dishevelled hair. Then the hex came with a linguist. More talk and food ensued. Afterwards the axe warrior assigned him some digging work.
She took him to a small room with a low table made from petrified wood, which came from the death of a tree, in which a mof might be sealed. Then she gave him some fruit to eat. He tried to be in the present, but his mind kept drifting. He focused his mind with great effort to be able to thank her before he fell asleep.
Mof toy with our feelings, which has made us callous and has made it dear to spare a life, but do not let mof dictate our way of life, for what difference would there be from being possessed by mof? When a life is lost, no amount of reminisce or mourning or regret can undo it. If there is a burden of sparing a life, then we shall bear it." The verdict given, the jury looked visibly bored. Thus the village took him in and the axe warrior agreed to take care of him.
The hex raised her arms, silencing the crowd. "To kill is indeed an easy solution, but should we avoid the more difficult solution? Ease is not the criterion in this case. Suppose we choose to kill and find out that we are wrong. We could apologise to him via necromancy but a warm hug would never reach him.
Then the village hex came. She actually tried to figure out things, but communication failed. "Well, at least we know that he's a traveller from far away." the village hex declared triumphantly. Her moffy way of handling the matter enraged the crowd.
Then he was brought before the village. "A traveller not on the registry!" "Must be a mof to infiltrate..." "Kill it!" "But that's just a poor lost kid and he passed the punch test..." "Not your typical mof. Still a mof." The jury could not reach an agreement. He felt weary from lack of sleep and a full night's work. All the words became a mumble jumble until hostility and empathy could not be told apart.
The axe warrior regarded him hard and finally granted him a shower otherwise known as the ritual of singing and meditation. He cut the singing part this time.
The ritual of bone-carting was finally over. The bones were safe from mof. Zoologists from far and near would visit the crypt to study the abundance of specimen that mof bestowed upon the village despite the scrutiny travellers must endure. He didn't think of what to do next now that he was in a village, as the monotonous labour had occupied too much of his mind. After all he was attracted to it just like flies are attracted to light.
"Mof usually drop their disguise when punched." said the axe warrior with a relief. "Sorry, I had to punch you. Well..." she smirked and continued, "help me with the bones. We must carry them to the sealed crypt or mof will get them again." The axe warrior made sure that he made himself useful.
The bones on the ground shifted surreptitiously. Then a cluster of them was catapulted into sky by slimy coils that somehow had wound themselves up tight. It spun wildly at first and then membranes sprouted inside the structure, keeping the creature levitated. It darted away. The mof was still alive and managed to fashion something from the bones. Though It left behind a huge pile of vertebrae and slime, it escaped. He admired the mof's ingenuity.
Soon the snake squandered away all but one of its vertebrae and the terrain made it hard to reattach to the discarded bones. Thus the ruckus died down. The woman approached the skull cautiously. She propped the jaw open with the axe and took out a dagger. Without hesitation, she stabbed into the critter hidden behind the pointy teeth. Meanwhile he kept his distance, holding a shovel.
mograph.social is a Mastodon server for the motion design community. VFX artists, 3D artists, animators, designers and illustrators with an interest in moving images are all welcome.